Cancer is something that has touched all of us in our own lives, the lives of our families and friends or our beloved pets. Cancer is a devastating diagnosis particularly when it comes to our furry friends. Conventional treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be harsh,expensive and radical. They need to be this way. Cancer is not a gentle disease and neither are the treatments for it. There is no one treatment, holistic or otherwise that will cure all cancers. From a holistic stand point we look at a few things when it comes to cancer treatment or support for our pets: enhancing the immune function; slowing tumor growth; delaying metastasis (or spreading) and, optimizing quality of life. Generally in veterinary medicine we do not cure cancer, we manage it. Sometimes we manage it so well that our pets are able to live out their natural life span. Sometimes we just buy quality time, with our pets remaining happy and pain free.
The foundation for all cancer therapies is diet. When one is treating cancer all the herbs, vitamins and therapies in the world are not as important as diet. A homemade grain free diet is the usually the best for this. Studies have shown that cancer cells feed on carbs so a low carb diet helps starve them of nutrients and they do not grow as quickly. This works well with the majority of cancers and the majority of dogs but not all carb sources are bad. Sweet potatoes, quinoa, Coix (Chinese yi yi ren barley) can have a place in some cancer diets. Many times a raw, grain-free diet high in fish for the Omega 3 fatty acids is where we start. Sometimes the animal will not eat it though. It is very important that all cancer patients eat, because anorexia is a high protein diet. What does that mean?? That means that if the animal does not eat then the body will start to break down muscle tissue to feed itself. Muscle is 100% protein. So, the bottom line is that eating anything is better than starvation when it comes to cancer.
When it comes to herbal and alternative therapies, my best advice is to find a holistic veterinarian, consult with them and follow their advice. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it is easy to become overwhelmed if you try to read everything on the net.
There are special herbs for special cancers and then there are herbal combinations that support animals who have cancers. One such product is Life Gold Cancer Support from PetWellbeing – see this link for more information: http://www.petwellbeing.com/products/dog-cancer
Cancer can be devastating to all concerned. It is important to find a good veterinarian who will listen to your concerns and can help guide you through your pet’s illness.